18663 Ventura Blvd, Suite 202, Tarzana CA 91356

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Take your meds, please

One last important word on how to be a good patient: If you can't afford the medications precribed for you, please tell your doctor before you are discharged from the hospital. Especially if one of those medications is Plavix. And ESPECIALLY if you just had a coronary stent placed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

I'm told that my office staff dress up for Halloween. It's festive, it's fun.

I'm not dressing up. Here's why -- I don't look like a cardiologist. As a young woman, I look nothing like your stereotypical, gray-haired cardiolgist. I'm mistaken as the nurse, the physical therapist, the nutritionist, the social worker -- you name it. And not just by patients, but by health care workers as well.

Some patients have even told me that because my last name ends in "-man" that they assume I'm -- a man!

In a world of stereotypes and preconceived notions, I need all the credibility I can get. Hence no costume.

Photo from

Monday, October 29, 2007

Curried chickenless wrap, Jicama slaw, and Banana

Here's day #1 from Eat Your Veggies vegan food delivery service.

What is jicama anyway? I don't know, but jicama slaw is tasty. With a side of cold lentils and watermelon for dessert, this was dinner. And it was delicious!
Now back to studying.....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Blog Slowdown

That's my niece. Aunt Heather buys her cool shirts.

The blog has been slow, and until after my interventional cardiology board exam on November 8, there won't be too many posts here.

For now, life is work, studying, and working out. I simply can't get by without my morning run or workout, so even if that means missing an hour or two of sleep, I'm better off for it.

In fact, to avoid grocery shopping and cooking, I'm trying out Christy Morgan's vegan meal delivery service, Eat Your Veggies. I'll post a few pictures and let you know how it is, but the meals she's dropped off look scrumptious.

How to be a Better Patient

Here are a few suggestions for how to get the best health care from your doctor that you possibly can:

1) Know your medical history and what medications you take.

Some patients have no knowledge of what medications they are taking, what their medical history is, or what medical procedures they've had.

Yes your information may be "in the chart", but sometimes that chart isn't readily available. You may have another doctor prescribing medications, and you may not be taking the medicines listed in the chart. For example, if your blood pressure is high it's important for me to know that the rheumatologist started you on prednisone two weeks ago, or that your primary care doctor stopped your lisinopril because of that pesky cough.

Also, it is very helpful to carry a current list of all of your medications and doses.

2) Describe your symptoms in simple terms.

We learn in medical school that 90% of medical diagnosis is taken from the history that we are given by the patient. The best descriptions are the simplest: "I have crushing chest pain that started two hours ago and radiated to my left arm." "I have angina" is not a description of your pain. As a doctor, I need to know your exact symptoms.

You do not need to describe to me the workup you've had since walking into the clinic or hospital. "My blood pressure is high and they did an EKG and drew blood from me" is not the information I want. I know this already. Tell me what symptoms brought you here.

3) Take your medicines as prescribed. This is especially true with hypertension (high blood pressure).

Blood pressure medications are not to be taken on an as-needed basis. You need them every day. Some patients tell me that they can "feel" when their blood pressure is high -- this is not true. That's why hypertension is called The Silent Killer.

If you have any doubts as to whether you should take a medication, ask me. I'd be glad to explain the benefits of the medications that I've prescribed you.

4) If you do not speak English well, please allow me to use a translator to converse with you. That way, we will understand each other better, I will know what your concerns are, and you will understand what your plan of care is.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Vegetarian Wedding

My brother, Kevin, and his fiancee Mary Ruth tied the knot last weekend in Hawaii. The wedding ceremony, as you can see, took place on the beach.

Blossoming Lotus, a vegan restaurant, catered the event. The food was nothing short of amazing!!!

Noodles and edamame, spring rolls, and Migthy Aphrodite's Greek Salad (with "Feta" cheeze).

Senorita Bombia's Enchilada Casserole, with mole sauce and sour cream.

And, last but definitely not least, the cake. Ahhh... a vegan cake. I can't remember the last time I ate cake at a wedding. This was delicous and pretty!

I had hoped to submit this to VegNews magazine for their vegan wedding issue, but sadly it's too late this year. But here it is, an awesome vegetarian wedding.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How the Mighty Have Fallen

I used to cook a lot. In fact, my initial intent of having this blog was to show how easy it is to cook healthy vegan meals. But lately, I've done so little cooking. Almost none, in fact. Much of the reason is, ironically, time -- balancing a new job as a cardiology attending, working out, studying for my interventional boards, and occasionally spending time with family and friends. On top of that, it's so easy to call up Green Leaves for a seitan wrap and a miso soup to go.

Tonight, for the first time in a while, I cooked. I sauteed broccoli and onion in my wok with General Tso's sauce and paired it with some pre-cooked wild rice from Trader Joe's.
Once the boards are over, I'm going to cook more. I miss it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Here is a nice positive article about vegetarianism, entitled "Protein a key concern for vegetarians"

It's very positive about vegetarianism. It talks about a restaurant in Atlanta called Cafe Sunflower -- I've been there and it's delicious.

But, I disagree that protein is a "key concern" for vegetarians. Anyone who consumes a balanced vegetarian diet will get plenty of protein. We only need 10% of our calories from protein. Most Americans are well in excess of that.

And why don't we talk about the "key concerns" of the standard American diet -- obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, osteoarthritis, hypertension, high cholesterol........ ???